by JollyFrogger Diva
Visiting Walt Disney World any time of year is magical- there’s so much to see, hear, smell, taste, and do. More than likely, some sort of festival or celebration will be taking place whenever you choose to visit. There are a few times of year, however, that are my favorite times to visit. Christmastime is definitely on the top of my list when it comes to my preferred time to be at Walt Disney World. There’s something extra special about the magic of Christmas and the magic of Disney combined that makes me particularly happy. If you visit during Christmastime, you’ll see that you can find holiday cheer and festive activities both in the parks and at the resorts as well. It can be a bit overwhelming to try and see and do everything. Here’s a list of a few of my favorite Christmas Disney things to give you place to start.
Cinderella Castle Dream Lights. To me, the most iconic scene of Christmas at Disney World is Cinderella Castle adorned with Dream Lights. Cinderella Castle is beautiful year round, but there’s something particularly striking about seeing it covered in thousands of white, glittering lights. During the day you can catch the occasional gleam from the lights as they reflect the sun, but night-time is when the magic truly comes to life. Be sure to find a place on Main Street around dusk to watch Queen Elsa use her powers to turn Cinderella Castle into an icy work of art.
Resort Decorations. You don’t even have to step foot into one of the Walt Disney World parks to get yourself into the holiday spirit. Visiting the various Disney Resorts is a fun way to see some of the Christmas decorations. The Grand Floridian is one of my personal favorites- it smells as amazing at is looks and tasty treats never fail to put me in the holiday mood. Disney Magic Diva has a great guide to Gingerbread displays around property.
Even the resorts that don’t have elaborate displays are still a great place to check out decoration. Each resort decorates a tree with ornaments that compliments the theme of that resort. Our favorite resort is Port Orelans French Quarter (you can read my review here) and their trees are covered in Mardi Gras themed ornaments, strings of beads, and Fleur-de-lis to tie in with the French Quarter atmosphere. If you have a favorite Disney World resort hotel, be sure to pay them a visit and check out their uniquely themed tree.
Candlelight Processional at Epcot. If hearing beautiful music and the story of Christ’s birth is what you need to get into the Christmas spirit, this is the event for you. Epcot hosts a Candlelight Processional several times a night from late November to late December at the American Gardens Theater in World Showcase and features a celebrity narrator. The night we did the Candlelight Processional Virginia Madsen was the narrator for our show. Seating is included in your theme park admission and is first-come, first-serve unless you purchase a Candlelight Processional dining package. If you choose not to purchase a dining package, be sure to arrive well before your chosen performance time, as seating isn’t guaranteed for those without a package and the line tends to get quite long. The Candlelight Processional was by far one of my favorite Christmas performances I’ve ever seen, Disney or otherwise. We don’t often visit while it’s offered, but I would certainly make allowance in our schedule to attend if we find ourselves there at that time again.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While my other favorite Disney Christmas things have no additional cost, there is something offered during the holiday season that I would happily pay extra to participate in. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is one of my favorite Disney celebrations. Offered select nights from early Nov until the end of December, the party features a special holiday parade, fireworks, holiday treats, and more. Pink Diva has a great list of Do’s and Don’ts for those who want to attend the party.
My favorite things about Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party are Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Holiday Wishes fireworks display. If you’re lucky enough to find a spot to watch the parade on Main Street, you may just find a few “snowflakes” falling on your head during the parade as an added bonus. Be sure to have your camera ready during the parade because Mickey and Minnie look adorable in the festive attire and Santa himself even makes an appearance near the end of the parade. My personal favorite part of the parade, however, is the Tin Soldiers. I’m not sure why I love them so much, but seeing them marching in the parade always puts me in the holiday spirit.
After the parade, be sure to stay on Main Street or perhaps try to move a little close to the hub so you can have a great viewing spot for Holiday Wishes. Just like any other fireworks display at Magic Kingdom, you can expect great music, cool projections on Cinderella Castle, and of course lots of pyrotechnics. I particularly enjoy when they turn the Dream Lights on while the fireworks are still exploding.
Decorations Through the 4 Parks. Although I feel like Magic Kingdom may get the most attention when it comes to Christmas decorations, the other 3 theme parks do a great job decorating at well. When we visited back in 2008, Epcot had these exquisite white light sculptures that looked like giant dandelions to me. Those are some of my favorite decorations that I’ve ever seen at Walt Disney World.
Similar to the resorts, each theme park puts up a Christmas tree with decorations appropriately themed to that park. There are usually Photopass photographers stationed to take your picture in front of the tree, and sometimes they even have special holiday-themed Magic Shots and fun props to add even more cheer.
Honorable Mention: Sunset Season’s Greetings, Jingle Bell Jingle Bam, and Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. I put these in the Honorable Mention category because I haven’t had the pleasure of actually being at the parks to enjoy them. However, I have seen plenty of pictures and read reviews from my fellow Divas and I will definitely be adding these to my must-do list for our next trip during Christmastime. You can read Passholder Diva’s review of Sunset Season’s Greetings and Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam here and her review of Epcot International Festival for the Holidays here.
So there you have it, a list of a few of my favorite Disney Christmas events and activities. If you’d like to plan a trip to Disney for Christmas or any other time of the year, contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a free quote. What are some of your favorite holiday activities at Disney World?